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Throughout the years I have fallen in love with the stories people tell. Where the come from and the paths they have taken to get to where they stand in front of me. Some are exciting and fraught with emotion & tall tales while others have fewer movie making qualities. The beauty to me lays in the uniqueness of each person’s story. In my daily interactions I find the old homes I walk through share similar stories with me. I can see the nick-knacks that proudly display trips abroad, art with a particular significance, photos of important people, furniture that symbolizes personalities & taste. There are always ways to tell who lives within the walls and spaces by the things that occupy it. I always enjoy the process.

The contractor in me looks at all the lines of the homes, evidence of improvements, the quality the materials used and recently I’ve become fascinated with the appearance of the walls. My family lives in a 1920 craftsman home with lathe & plaster walls that remind me of the ocean (wavy). My attempts to correct said waviness has been lack-luster and I have a deep appreciation for those who can seamlessly correct drywall-to-plaster transitions and I look for it everywhere. Tangent Ended.

I paint this picture for our audience this blog entry to make the point that as you prepare your house to be sold, the potential suitors will be looking at every detail your present to them.

When you decide to sell your home, you are no longer trying to tell your story with the objects and icons that grace the floor plan. Your new objective is to give the buyers a vision of their own story in the spaces you have thoughtfully prepared for them. The reason model homes sell so well is that it projects a reality that we all aspire to…organization, a quarantined level of cleanliness, furniture that perfectly fits the style of the home, the living spaces & the Feng shui. There is a level of desire that we all want in the comforts & simplicity a model home displays. Although that type of projection is ideal, it can be challenging with limited budgets, storage space and the reality that it is still your space and you want to keep your treasures in full view regardless.

This is where a professional comes in handy. You need another set of eyes to tell you what needs to be done so that the story you tell to the potential buyers is communicated with the before mentioned objectives met. Peeling paint, missing hardware, sagging gutters, misplaced mortar, dirty fireplaces, etc. are often forgotten in our daily interactions with our dwellings. It takes someone to point it out to ensure your house looks the best it can. Take the time to get the little tweaks and fixes in order. You can pay a home inspector to evaluate your home before you put it on the market (often times for a discounted price). First impressions are monumental, make sure the one your house gives to the scrutinizing eye is memorable in a good way.

Clean & de-clutter, arrange & store so these concepts and objectives are met.

If you have a vacant house consider having a professional staging company fill with furniture akin to a model home. Not everyone can spatially imagine where furniture is supposed to go and see their own belongings gracing the layout. That can limit your number of potential owners, lower the desirability of your house & often it lowers the perceived (eventually the actual) value.

Sales is about telling the consumer how the product or service is exactly what they need or want. Telling your story when selling a house is not the point and can be a costly (often unintended) mistake that will make other options look better to the consumer.  You want your house to be the best option with the best story…theirs…not yours.

Want more practical help? Visit the following links for more perspectives on staging your house:

HGTV.com 15 Secrets of Home Staging

About.com Home Staging

Frontdoor.com Home Staging Guide

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